Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Deus Ex: Human Revolution PC Impressions

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an unique game to grace the gaming world at this point and time, though there have been games similar to it before, none have come lately nor this well made. Made by Eidos Montreal, published by Square Enix, and the prequel to Deus Ex, the futuristic rpg/shooter that had a large following back in 2000; Human Revolution follows closely on what the original Deus Ex's tried to do, presenting you with variations in levels- some wide open and others linear- always providing numerous options to get through the level. It still presents a similar world to the original Deus Ex, but it takes place in Detroit instead of New York. The numerous options could be anything from using the sewers to get around an enemy position, finding a ventilation system that can be traversed around the enemies, planting mines and creating noise to decimate the enemy, or simply walking up and mowing them all down. There are so many more options than that to most situations, even plainly simple ones. The game, from the beginning, is about choice; your first choice is whether to kill your enemies or leave them unconscious, but alive. The original Deus Exs created a large following of gamers because of the choices it offered them and surprisingly, there hasn't been many other games like it in the last eleven years. The new Deus Ex, Human Revolution, is for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3; it came out on August 23rd. Human Revolution caters to the PC crowd a little more than the consoles, but from everything I hear, the console versions are not just ports or vice versa.
I've managed to put down about ten hours into this game thus far, and at first I noticed that everything ran so smoothly, so I cranked up anti-aliasing, draw distance, and a few other options and noticed that it had dropped down 20 fps, instead of 50. This game has so many graphical options and even on lower settings it still looks decent, but at times you can tell it was not developed on the newest of graphical engines. Despite any graphic hiccups or disappointments, the world is still a pleasure to roam and explore.
*Slight Spoilers*
The introduction shows off Sarif Industries, an augmentation manufacturing company that is at the top of the industry. It comes under attack in the first five minutes of the game and you are forced to repel the attackers. You play as Adam Jensen, an ex-swat officer who is now the head of security for Sarif Industries. This is the prologue section of the game and visually it is quite gorgeous. You traverse through labs and offices that are burning, with sprinkle particle systems going off all over the place, broken equipment thrown about, and bullet holes in walls; all of which make the prologue feel like a real assault on your headquarters, not just some level. It introduces you to the impressive cover system, which allows you to stay in cover and move from object to object fairly fluidly. After this section you have one linear warehouse level to tackle, but despite it being linear, you still have many choices to how you tackle every situation. Passing through the warehouse, you finally get introduced to the world, giving you an open sprawling town to explore. It's large, but it's not as if they gave you an open area from Borderlands or Fallout, it's not completely open, but still contains many explore-able buildings and several side quests. In a game that started off feeling a little closed off, this was a nice change of pace. Take a gander at the prologue section of the game below.

Deus Ex Human Revolution Intro Gameplay

Augments are one of the main elements of the game. You can easily argue that augments are what makes Deus Ex a rpg/fps, but others may just see it as a fps with skill management. You get experience through quests, exploring, killing/stunning people in specific ways, and by hacking. Augments are basically just a skill set that you can upgrade throughout the game, a skill set that allows you to hack better, sneak better, kill quicker, jump farther, run faster, move heavy objects easier, shoot more accurately, among many other improvements. The rpg aspect of this game gives you a familiar inventory to manage everything, in which you can upgrade weapons with various improvements, however, in order to hoard everything you find, you will have to upgrade your augments. It takes a long time to upgrade most augments, since most of the augments require you to use to two praxis (skill) points and though you can occasionally buy praxis points, you typically have to earn them one at a time through leveling.
Augments are so very important to every situation. In the beginning, it's impossible to try to have a decent spread of options, but there are always options for whatever path you had been going for. For instance, there's a lock on the gate you have to hack, but your hacking isn't good enough, so you search around for a while and find that there's a building that you can jump from, but you need an improved jump for that, so if you can't do either of those you can enter the sewers (which are dangerous) and find a sewer entrance that will take you to the other side of the locked fence. It doesn't sound too significant or impressive, but when every single situation in the game has various options, then the significance of augments becomes clear. There are also augments that allow you to read peoples emotions, which in turn let's you play on their feelings to convince them to help you, or whatever it is you're trying to get them to do. Unlike many games these days, the conversational system does not clearly show what is right and wrong, it is more varied and tactical.
I didn't expect to be so taken with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, even though I was a fan of the first two games, but it has grown on me ever since the prologue of the game. It is polished, exciting and pleasingly open. There are so many options, from game customization, to options of tactics and choice. The game feels close to what I remember the original Deus Ex being like, but obviously with newer mechanics and graphics. Not only does the game give you many choices, but it rewards you accordingly for the more difficult options. Human Revolution does have it's problems though, AI for one is sometimes quite dumb. Enemy AI will stick together when hearing sound, will be alert when alarmed, but sometimes they fail to look in the right direction of a sound, or refuse to go beyond certain doorways and entrances. The FPS portion of the game complements all of the rpg aspects quite well. You have ironsights, a cover system, and many different weapons to choose from, even in the beginning of the game. So far Human Revolution has been a pleasure to play, but I will get back to you all with a full review once I leisurely plow through the other 10+ hours of the game; I'm an explorer, so it will take time. Thanks for reading, be back with more news later today.
-Written by Sean Cargle


  1. AnonymousSep 16, 2011 01:51 AM
    how to change draw distance ???
  2. LokaiSep 16, 2011 12:49 PM
    FOV? It has a option for it in the main menu.